Veteran rocker Peter Case kicks off BF series

Thursday November 17, 2011

BELLOWS FALLS -- Peter Case has just about done it all. From being an early power-punker: he wrote "Hanging on the Telephone," one of Blondie’s biggest hits; to top-40 video tracks; to lovingly compiled tributes to the great acoustic bluesmen; to his path today teaching songwriting and touring solo.

Case will be stopping in Bellows Falls on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. concert to inaugurate a series of shows at the Bellows Falls Opera House Lower Theater, presented by Flying Under Radar. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Opera House.

Case left upstate New York in 1974 to travel west to California. Starting as a street singer in San Francisco and Los Angeles, he became an early punk-rock convert. His band The Nerves opened for the Ramones across the U.S. in 1977, next, the Plimsouls scored a hit in the ‘80s with "A Million Miles Away." Case’s former bands continue to enjoy rediscovery by rock’s new generations, but it is his solo career that his proven to be most enduring, earning him accolades and die-hard fans.

As a rocker turned acoustic player, Case opened a door through which others have walked ever since 1986 when his self-titled T-Bone Burnett-produced solo album earned him year-end honors and his first Grammy nod. Set to a tribal-folk percussive blend of blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll, its essences pour through everything he’s recorded since. His songs are continually revived by other artists (a three-disc set was recorded in tribute to him) and used effectively in contemporary film and television (most recently, on the hit HBO series "True Blood"). Over two decades he’s recorded 10 solo albums -- from the highly acclaimed and influential "The Man With the Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar" to 2007’s Grammy-nominated "Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John." His 2001 "Avalon Blues," a tribute to the music of his country blues hero, Mississippi John Hurt featured contributions by Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and Beck.

With "Wig!," his 2011 album, Case has recommited himself -- to life, after a serious heart operation in 2009 -- and his personal brand of rock ‘n’ soul.

"Peter Case is a real hero of mine," said Flying Under Radar’s Charlie Hunter. "He was on the Kings of California music train we did with Dave Alvin this spring, and his persona and his songs really impressed us. Peter doesn’t compromise. His vision of music, its potential to enliven and enrich, is really inspiring."

The show is presented in association with Vermont Festivals, LLC and WOOL 100.1FM, with help from Popcorn Sutton Productions and MMorgana. Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance, with $30 front row "Angel" tickets available on line. Advance tickets are available at Village Square Booksellers and Fat Franks in Bellows Falls, in Chester at Misty Valley Books, in Brattleboro at Turn It Up!, and at For more information, call 802-463-3669 or visit


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